Thursday, January 19, 2012
Adventure report: Amidst the collapse...
On 6th of January I ventured with Johanna Schoen, Jeff Ross, Mats Roing, and canine advance team Chaos and Luna on a climb of Baldy Peak (8914ft/2701m.) just north of Bozeman MT in the Bridger Mountains, via the Sypes Canyon route. Baldy is two summits south of Saddle Peak, on which I reported previously. To make a long story short, we had a great day of trekking. The trail was extremely icy. Everyone but me and the dogs wore Kahtoola Microspikes, (provided by Mats, who is a Kahtoola field tester). I wore a full set of 12 point crampons, and wasn't sorry at all. Without this gear the trail would have been nearly impassable. Between pads and toenails the dogs seemed to fend well enough au naturel.
Quick summary: it took us roughly 2 hours to get to the junction with the Foothills Trail, roughly 3 miles in. The climb became considerably colder and steeper beyond this point, and Johanna and Jeff turned back. Mats and I continued on, but it turns out that sitting through 6 sessions on health care and 12 hours of econometrics lectures at the AEA/ASSA Annual Meetings is not conducive to better climbing performance. I turned back around 3:30, since I was starting to flag. Mats forged on, summited, and raced down -- we finished together in the dark and drove back to our secret compound for beer, steak, and broccoli -- a post-ordeal fare of choice.
Great times, with great friends. OK, enough blather...on to the photos. Click on each for a better view.
Lower stretches: Mats and I are caught by mountain paparazzi:
Me, just below the junction. Johanna and Jeff are visible below.
Never mind me, look at the tree. Beautiful.
Well, this was just a day trip, Nat. But I have camped up on top in the winter. No tent -- I rarely use one in winter, because digging into the snow is better. There wasn't a lot of snow, and it was extremely windy, so we built a snow fall slept behind it. Minus 29 C (minus 20 F), full moon, not a cloud in the sky...awesome!